Gamestop, the longtime brick and mortar video games retailer, might not be around much longer.
A recent press release issued by the company has confirmed rumors that business has been bad. Apparently, the company that was once a cornerstone of gaming business is looking for a buyout.
From an earlier Reuters Report:
“GameStop Corp. today confirmed it is in exploratory discussions with third parties regarding a potential transaction. There can be no assurance any agreement will result from these discussions. GameStop does not intend to make any additional comments regarding these discussions unless and until it is appropriate to do so.”
Both Reuters and Gamestop are very clear that none of these changes are definite yet, and that everything here is just a few forward-thinking plans. But these certainly aren’t plans that indicate a business or company that’s doing well, and with digital purchasing of games continuing to become more and more popular, it’s not clear what’s left in the gaming market with the ability to revive this company.
In fact, as digital sales were on the rise, Gamestop’s doom was practically set in stone. For some time, they attempted to retain customers by introducing perk systems and purchasing points, but quickly began losing the battle to the convenience and ease of downloading games online. And despite the stress on the buyout not being anything other than careful “what if” planning at the moment, it does appear that the switch from physical to digital games sales will do to Gamestop what the switch from physical to digital media sales did to Blockbuster many years ago.
And while many are mourning the loss of their favorite games retailer, other scorned gamers are happy to see the red-and-black shops bite the digital dust of online purchasing. For example, certain consumers have cited the script Gamestop employees are encouraged to follow that has them pushing used games over new games at all costs. For example, if a customer enters the store looking to purchase a new game, the employee will automatically redirect, encouraging them to instead purchase a used copy at a reduced cost.
If the customer purchases the used copy, Gamestop gets significantly more profit from the transaction, as they are known to trade-in used games for much lower prices than they sell them for. What’s more, the game developers and publishers make no money off of that transaction and can’t even record it as a sale on their business reports. With this practice likely to disappear with Gamestop, game developers and publishers may see a slight increase in sales numbers.
Disgruntled employees have also posted their fair share of rants online, although no more frequently than any other employer that typically hires young people for minimum wage. One employee complained on Quora of a policy meant to discourage theft but actually ended up doing the opposite. The policy, according to employee Bryan Woody, didn’t allow the shop to accept unopened games as trades.
“People would get pissed if we wouldn’t let them trade in some gift they got and didn’t open,” Woody says. “They would always say “well I’ll go outside and open it”, and we had to tell them we still couldn’t accept it, and they would storm out in a huff. But thieves would know about this policy, so it didn’t really affect them.”
Other employees have taken to employer review sites to complain about the company’s myriad of different policies that would change by the day, each detailing the different levels of rewards and points that were to be distributed to customers making certain purchases.
It should be noted that after over 6,000 reviews, Gamestop has a 3.6 star review on employer review site Indeed, so despite the numerous horror stories from disgruntled employees, it would seem that Gamestop was not actually the most terrible place to work.